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Researching Retirement Communities in Florida? Use This Guide

November 22, 2019

Finally, retirement is within reach. If you’ve decided that a retirement community is where you want to enjoy the fruits of your labor, it’s time to start researching. But evaluating retirement communities in Florida can be daunting. Fear not! We’ve created a checklist of options to use as you compare different retirement communities so you can decide how they stack up on your “must-have” list.

Here's a helpful guide for researching the retirement communities in Florida.

Location tops the list, and for good reason. Like most active older adults, you probably like to discover new restaurants, travel the world, enjoy the outdoors or attend cultural events. Make sure the community is close to vibrant city life and an airport. While options for dining and activities are often plentiful at the retirement communities in Florida, you’ll want to check out what lies beyond the campus perimeter.

Contract options. When you ask about the contract options, be sure that the community has multiple options that fit your personal financial situation. An all-inclusive contract with an 80% or 90% refundable entrance fee will help protect your assets for the long-term while granting peace of mind for the future as well. By contrast, if you already have long-term health coverage, make sure that the community offers a fee-for-service plan that is more affordable upfront and accounts for your preexisting insurance.

Services. The advantage of retirement communities in Florida, like Lakeside at Waterman Village, a soon-to-be-built expansion of Waterman Village in Mount Dora, is the array of services available to residents. Home maintenance, lawncare, housekeeping, trash collection and security are included in most monthly service packages. You’ll also want to inquire about other services such as scheduled transportation to off-campus locations and whether the community has a bank or a convenience store.

Amenities. If you’re a hiker, biker, yogi, or fisherman, you’ll want to make sure the retirement community offers amenities like nature trails, pools, fitness centers, art studios, or recreational spots nearby. Also, ask if there’s a variety of clubs and committees available to residents. Participating in groups is great way to meet new people or explore interests that are important to you.

Dining. As you make a list of retirement communities in Florida that interest you, evaluate the number of dining options on campus. For example, does the community offer only formal dining, or can you enjoy a delicious dining experience dressed informally? What about a private dining room for family and group get-togethers? Also, ask if you can schedule a time to sample the cuisine.

Residences. Do you prefer an apartment home or a free-standing home? Check out the variety of floor plans presented and decide if you prefer newer more modern layouts or traditional floorplans. Often, new construction offers better soundproofing, the ability to choose colors and finishes and make approved customizations. In addition, new construction means you’re the first person to live in your home.

Lifestyle. As someone enjoying their post-career years, you finally have time to focus on you. Today’s active seniors want a robust community life with access to an abundance of on-site events, like social soirees, cultural performances and educational series. Also focus on your current needs like whether the community allows you to bring your pet or if it gives you space to garden.

Sense of community. When touring retirement communities in Florida, do you get a sense that you’ll fit in? Do people greet you? Are there opportunities like committees, excursions and exercise classes that allow you to meet new people and experience a sense of belongingness? Also consider diversity. Choosing to live in a community like Lakeside at Waterman Village is a way to meet other people from different backgrounds.

Community size. Similar to the sense of community is its size. Do you want to recognize everyone on campus or do you want to blend in? The size of the community can play a huge role in your comfort level.

Continuum of care. Sure, you can choose a 55+ community or an interim condo, but do you really want to pick up roots again if you need more healthcare assistance? An “independent living-plus community” not only offers independent living for individuals and couples like you, but also the support of assisted living or memory care should you ever need it.

When evaluating retirement communities in Florida, you’ll find Lakeside at Waterman Village, checks off all the boxes. The waterside community will offer condo-style or single-story garden homes with the amenities and services of the main campus, Waterman Village.

Moreover, Lakeside at Waterman Village’s close proximity to Mount Dora makes it an ideal place to call home. Ranked by USA TODAY® as the No. 1 small town in Florida and No. 4 in America for where to retire, Mount Dora offers a variety of dining hot spots, recreational options and numerous cultural attractions.

Attend one of our information sessions to learn more about this active adult retirement community or call us today at 352-385-1120—and good luck with your retirement community search!

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